In L’Histoire du Soldat, Stravinsky provides a musical setting of the legend of Faust, in which a returning WWI soldier sells his violin to the devil in return for the promise of fortune and wisdom. The devil, however, has much more in store for this young man. This chamber work will feature members of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra, three actors providing narration, and a dancer.
This performance of L’Histoire du Soldat is presented in collaboration with the Springfield Museum of Art. While you experience Stravinsky’s work, please be sure to explore the current exhibition in the McGregor Gallery, Shelter: Crafting a Safe Home. Shelter features works by fourteen contemporary artists across the United States “who explore how a lack of safety and security from the physical elements as well as unseen external threats affects one’s well-being, self-identity, and ability to live and grow.”
The subject matter of Shelter is not only relevant in that Ohio has seen a recent increase in rates of homelessness, but there are several ways in which themes explored in the exhibit can tie into themes in L’Histoire, as well as the compositional history of the piece.
L’Histoire’s main protagonist finds himself on an arduous journey home from war, in addition to the piece’s unusual instrumentation being born out of a means of necessity, Stravinsky’s own personal exile in a foreign land, and the lack of resources for him – and his work – to return home.» Program Notes